In My View: Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting

Children stuck for years on waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, people stuck for days in A&E in a mental health crisis, front line NHS workers at breaking point.

This is the reality facing too many people as a result of 13 years of Conservative Government failures.

Services are struggling to cope and staff are at breaking point Across our lifesaving emergency services here in London, more than 144,000 sick days were last year taken due to poor mental health.

These are our paramedics, firefighters and police officers who find themselves under so much strain that it’s negatively impacting their mental health.

This is the legacy of a Government that has repeatedly undermined and underfunded our public services.

Mental illness costs the UK economy £117 billion a year. It doesn’t make sense for the Government to continue to ignore it.

Waiting times are soaring, and far too often help depends on your postcode, not your need.

Patients across the country are being let down. Waiting for months, or in some cases even years for support, the mental health of patients is left to deteriorate until crisis point.

Across England, children spent more than 900,000 hours in A&E in a mental health crisis last year. For adults, that same figure is a startling 5.5 million hours.

This is the direct result of Tory Government cuts to beds and a failure to properly resource mental health services.

I ask ministers to place themselves in the shoes of patients who find themselves passed from pillar to post, finding themselves stuck, waiting on a chair in a busy A&E over an entire weekend, because the one mental health bay is occupied, and there is nowhere else for them to go.

Do ministers really think that a hectic A&E is the best place for someone in crisis?

Is it any wonder that people walk out of A&E without receiving treatment?

Until the Government gets on top of waiting lists, patients will continue to be failed. In South-west London, more than 10,000 children are stuck on waiting lists for mental health treatment.

How are our children supposed to grow up to achieve their potential if they are left to languish on waiting lists?

Our children’s futures cannot be put at risk because the Government continues to ignore the rising demand for mental health services.

The next Labour Government will transform our mental health services: New staff, new services, faster treatment, prevention as our watchword.

I’m proud of the steps Wandsworth’s new Labour council have already taken on mental health – we need better mental health for all.

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